What exactly is CBD and how can it help our wellness regime

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‘Cannabusiness’ is booming and CBD has found its way into everything from our candles to cocktails. But what about our skincare regime? Beauty industry expert Hannah Roberts reports on the burgeoning world of CBD skincare…

Dope, weed, pot, marijuana – has made its way into the wellness sector. Now beauty and even spa industries are launching products and services, but, research into the beauty benefits of cannabis is not concrete. Yet in spite of this, numerous skincare brands are adopting the herb as the latest ingredient, specifically harvesting the power of its non-psychoactive cannabidiol compound, known as CBD. Can it get you high? No. But is it conceivable that it can provide relief to inflamed, dry skin and acne, possibly…

What is CBD?

To understand more, a quick overview of the plant itself is needed. Cannabinoids are the chemical components within the cannabis plant. The most well known are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). The former gives weed its psychoactive properties (the ‘high’ ) and is only available on medical prescription in the UK. CBD is derived from industrial hemp and considered the most medically active, possessing no psychoactive properties and is legal. However, to get CBD from hemp requires a very special extraction process. A process which I suspect not all brands are using and are therefore marketing the effects of CBD but are actually selling just hemp seed oil.

CBD and skincare

CBD is the most effective in skincare terms. As an antioxidant it reduces DNA damage and has inflammatory powers, which helps calm and balance the skin that in turn is anti-ageing and helps prevent acne. Aurelia Probiotic Skincare have launched a CBD Super Serum using isolated and purified CBD crystals via a hyaluronic base for ultra moisturisation and anti-inflammatory properties. Dr.Kerklaan Skin Cream helps effectively soothe skin using USA grown Hemp-based extracts and is hypoallergenic and suitable for both face and body

Then there is Hemp seed oil. sometimes referred to as cannabis sativa seed oil. It’s a perfectly good seed oil that’s high in antioxidants, omega-3 and -6 fatty acids and therefore a fantastic hydration agent but contains no CBD and therefore none of its benefits. Milk Make Up’s Cannabis Hydrating Face Mask calms and balances using the ingredient as does The Inkey Lists’ Hemp Oil Cream Moisturiser.

Hemp Seed Oil is a terrific powerhouse in skincare that has brilliant restorative and moisturising properties. If you’re looking specifically for CBD skincare that is anti-inflammatory, anti-ageing and anti-oxidant, it’s worth reading the fine print to check your product actually has CBD and not just hemp. Topically it can’t effect your mood, but perhaps taking a moment out of your day to massage a skincare product into it may create the calm you were seeking anyway.

CBD and pleasure

Another emerging area is the realm of ‘Pleasure’. The relaxation and aphrodisiac benefits of cannabis have been channelled into brand Foria – which offers a product called Awaken. The product is about heightening sexual satisfaction. Made from marijuana and 8 all natural aphrodisiacs– it is a lubricant that is applied to the vagina before any stimulation and is said to heighten the libido. Currently only available in the States…but watch out for more of these intimate products popping up in 2020.

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By Hannah Roberts

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